Fehervary will have a memorial for his mother on Saturday

ARLINGTON, Va. – Martin Fehervary will inevitably think of his late mother, Gabike, during the Washington Capitals’ Hockey Fights Cancer night against the Colorado Avalanche at Capital One Arena on Saturday (7 pm ET; NBCSWA, ALT, ESPN+, SN NOW ).

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Gabike, who died of lung cancer in 2009, was an inspiration to his son throughout his NHL journey.

“He died when I was 9 years old. It’s been quite a while,” said the 23-year-old defender, who grew up in Bratislava, Slovakia. “But he’s still very important in my life, and we had a very close relationship, so it’s a difficult loss. I always think about him. »

However, it will be hard for Fehervary to experience a more special moment than the one he experienced in the Capitals’ Hockey Fights Cancer game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Nov. 14 last season. Fehervary scored his team’s first goal on a shorthanded two-on-one run with Tom Wilson in a 6-1 win.

After the meeting, she wrote on her Instagram account: “This one is for you, Mom!! I miss you so much. #hockeyfightscancer”.

It was his second NHL goal, and he will never forget it.

“It was really emotional,” Fehervary said. I’m glad the NHL is highlighting the fight against cancer. Such things are very positive, they can give an opportunity to help someone. I know how hard it is to have a family member with cancer. So it was very emotional, especially when I scored a goal. It feels great, but emotions are running high. »

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The second child between his younger sister Monika and his older brother Gabriel, Fehervary maintains that he is probably the one of the three closest to his mother. It was very difficult for him when Gabike was diagnosed with lung cancer when he was 7 years old.

“I’m mama’s boy,” Fehervary said. My sister is still very young and my brother is more of a lonely type. He didn’t really show any emotion. For my part, I was always with my mother, we talked a lot and did a lot together. »

Despite her young age at the time, Fehervary remembers those two years and the chemotherapy treatments her mother had to undergo.

“She never felt well,” he said. I felt bad for him, but I was always happy when he picked me up from school. He wasn’t feeling well, so I really enjoyed those moments. Even though he was sick, he sometimes came to see my hockey games. It was a great memory to see him come into the match. »

When Fehervary was 5 years old, his parents and a small group of other parents who were dissatisfied with the Slovan Bratislava program decided to follow the example of Adriana Hostovecka, a hockey mother who founded the Svist hockey school. Fehervary’s father, Mario, and mother took turns taking him to practices and games, and sometimes the whole family went to tournaments.

After examining Fehervary’s mother, parents and players at the Svist hockey school, which also produced the Calgary Flames forward. Adam Ruzickaalso became a support group.

“On weekends, when my mother is sick, some colleagues invite me to their homes,” he said. I would visit my teammates, we would go skiing or participate in hockey tournaments. They are trying to help us. »

This continued after Gabike’s death, when Mario found himself alone to take care of his three children.

“It’s a really tight group,” Fehervary said. There weren’t many people, but everyone tried to help each other, and they helped us a lot, whether it was my parents or my colleagues. It’s always comforting when someone cares about you. »

Fehervary left Slovakia at the age of 15 to play in Sweden. He was eventually drafted in the second round (46th overall) by the Capitals in the 2018 draft.

Her mother’s encouragement and her battle with cancer were an inspiration for Fehervary.

“His way of fighting the sick and his positive attitude all the time had a big impact,” he noted. I remember all that. He really had a big influence on my life. […] He probably didn’t think I’d make it to the NHL, but he’d be proud of it. He would have supported me in any sport or in any field I chose. It’s his way of being. He has inspired me a lot.

“As long as it’s something good and you have a goal, he’s in for it. »

On Saturday, Fehervary will certainly be thinking about his mother and all she has done for him. Last season he was hit when he returned to the bench after scoring, something strange happened.

He wants to hit the target again for his mother, especially since he still hasn’t found the back of the net after 19 games this season.

“Yes, it’s time,” he said. I don’t really think about scoring goals, but I always try to do my best in every game, and this will be another special night. »

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